Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Frozen Fog, Back Roads, and Micro Brews....part 1

Much like yesterday, the morning dawned with a misty, frozen fog, in the air...not real cold, about 25, but a damp biting cold, that chills to the bone.

 Local Road Trips_____

 In my younger days, before working a 9 to 5 job, I would often take road trips, usually it didn't matter the time of year.  I would load the Airedales, Rags and Max, into the Jeep Cherokee, and head out...sometimes north to my early childhood home of Scott, Ohio, to visit Grandma Houseworth and her daughters, Eva and Cecil.  On other days, we would just take a tour of the Grand Lake area, and spots around my high school home in Montezuma, on the lake's south side.  Sometimes I would stop, in the summer months, and let the dogs swim around the Windy Point Beach area of the lake...back when it was fairly safe for any living things to swim in the now {supposedly} polluted 13,000 acre mass of water and farm chemicals.

These days, with gas above 3 dollars a gallon, and me approaching Social Security age, I don't do those type road trips saving the road for longer trips on my routes to officiate or umpire, like last nights 100+ mile round trip to Antwerp.  This morning however, I had a burr in my seat and decided the weather looked perfect to climb in the Jeep Wrangler and take the camera and head south and east.

The first stop was along Coldwater Creek, near the old farm where we raised the kids and dozens of Airedales, and where Max and Rags remains are buried, along with a few other Airedales and other mutts from those years...good memories indeed.  The trees along the creek were white from the frozen fog of the overnight, the winding road, scene of many an accident, including some fatal, was snow covered and slippery, the Jeep however, had no problems navigating it regardless of conditions.

I then took the road where I hooked up with US 127 and the state route into Montezuma.  This town hasn't changed much since I spent my high school years living out near the small airport on SR 219.  Those years were from 1963 until I left for the Air Force in the summer of 68...the town hasn't changed much, but the surrounding area has...too much construction, too many subdivisions and too many people trying to put on airs, and overcrowding the entire south side.  It is no longer what it was 40 or 50 years ago. I headed back north to Windy Point State Park....the park isn't used much this time of the year, in fact, with the condition of the lake these days, it isn't used much at all.  The frozen fog shrouded the trees and brush, snow mobile tracks went from the small beach area out into Grand Lake...the quiet was pure as the snow that lay on the ground.

I stood there and took that scene in, snapped some more photos and after 15 or so minutes I headed south stop Whiskey Run.  This is Chickasaw Creek, before it runs into the lake, it is also where I learned to Ice Skate.  I was a pretty good roller skater back in Venice, Florida...learning that at the outdoor tent that was called "Venice Roller Rink".  Learning to ice skate at "Whisky Run" was followed a few years later, at my post Vietnam stop, in upstate New Your, by snow skiing...I always figure, if you gotta live where it's cold, you might as well learn to enjoy the outdoors, regardless of conditions. 

A few more photos and I headed south and east towards Minster, Ohio.   I get to Minster, about 20 miles from Celina several times a year....a Doctor's call at least 2 times for my semi-annual check-ups, and on other occasions to umpire and officiate sporting events.  This time it was to check out the location of the new area sensation, the Wooden Shoe Brewery.

The Wooden Shoe Brewery, in it's initial form many years ago, was the largest employer in Minster, that distinction now belongs to the folks that make my favorite yogurt, Dannon.  Wooden Shoe has been brewed in Cincinnati and Columbus of late, but the small downtown Minster Brewery has a new revival, via the Philpot Family.  It is brewed at a location no bigger than my house, and not nearly as big as some of the upscale dwellings on Minster's northwest side.  The Brewery is open only on Saturdays from 9am to Noon, so with basketball, a wedding, a bachelor party, and a wedding reception taking up the next several Saturdays, it may be March before I get to make a stop at the Brewery today I chose to stop take a couple of photos of the location, and stop next door at Wagner's IGA Store, where they have an excellent supply of all types of speciality beers, including those from Wooden Shoe.  Some that are brewed in Columbus{which are excellent in their own right}.  But today I was looking in particular one of the new locally brewed ale on the list, the Black Ale, a powerful 7.5 alcohol content Schwarzbier Black.  I found what I was looking for in a corked 750 ML Bottle(25.3 ounces)...I also grabbed a like sized bottle of Tippecanoe Canal Jumpers Ale, brewed at the small house next door to have to be from the area to understand the "Canal Jumpers" name,  this lighter colored ale is a bit less in strength at 4.5%

After my purchases, I headed home via a different set of back roads, and within the hour, I was sitting at computer admiring the bottles, worth the price, if only for their style....tonight, with no games to officiate, I will sit down and drink a glass of each, and tomorrow on this blog, I will let you know what I think of both.  I have a feeling that I won't be disappointed!

For more on the history of Wooden Shoe, here is a link: 

back later>>>>

Photos-A collection of foggy ice photos and the New Wooden Shoe Brewery in, the Black Ale that I was interested in, along with another Ale to taste this evening, "Canal Jumpers".  The photos of the icy roads and trees, are from the top...Along Coldwater Creek, south of Celina, looking back towards the old Andrews Farm that we called home for the decade of the 1980s.  Overlooking Grand Lake from the Windy Point Beach area.  "Whiskey Run" along the Chickasaw Creek.  A frozen fog covered fence line near New Bremen, Ohio....and finally the Brewery in Minster where tonight's taste test are brewed, and the large corked bottles of the same.


kevin blumer said...

the drink bottles look so so diffrent to what they look like these days there not all fancy and bright

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